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Before and Afterlives
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by Christopher Barzak
Discover the haunting stories of Crawford Award-winning author Christopher Barzak in his new collection Before and Afterlives. These are tales of relationships with unearthly domesticity and eeriness: a woman falls in love with a haunted house; a beached mermaid is substituted for a disappeared daughter; the imaginary friend of a murdered young woman stalks the streets of her small town; a mother’s teenage son is afflicted with a disease that causes him to vanish; a father exploits his daughter’s talent for calling ghosts to her; and a wife leaves her husband and children to fulfill her obligations in the world from which she escaped.
Winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection!
Paperback, 230 pages
"Throughout this collection, Barzak effectively writes people contending with their fears and doubts but most especially he writes about loneliness. Barzak makes it all seem so easy, these gentle glimpses into his characters' lives, and even though these lives might include mermaids or ghostly parents or talking ﬁreflies,the extraordinary aspects are not what make his tales so magical. It's the way he sees plain ordinary people that gives his stories such power. Bravo." - Bookslut
"Before and Afterlives reveals a series of confluences and concerns in his short fiction, and as such, works remarkably well as a coherent collection. It’s a thoughtful, pleasant, and lingering sort of book: many stories, many lives, and many deaths to consider—as well as how these things, and the people that power them, intersect and reflect reality in a fantastical mirror." - Brit Mandelo for Tor.com
"Barzak takes what readers know (or think they do) and skews the view, exposing a new side of reality. Fans of speculative fiction especially will enjoy this ride through the fantastic worlds Barzak conjures.” - Kirkus Reviews